News Feature

The Island
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, December 1, 2011
What a night!
Nineteenth chess-a-thon boasts 57 players

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The team of Kaylee Morey and Krisford Melanio

The team of Kaylee Morey, left, and Krisford Melanio emerged victorious in the team event.

Photo courtesy of Dan DeLuca

by Richard Powell

The 19th annual Lacy Greenlaw Chess-a-Thon started with the traditional ribbon-cutting by Lacy’s mom, Debbie. However, for the first time ever all the chess players couldn’t fit into the picture.

There were 57 “official” players and a couple of younger brothers and sisters, too. Brayden Martin, who is in kindergarten, was the youngest official player. We also had the most adult players—11, counting the simul players.

Steve Abrahams, with a rating between 1,900 and 2,000, was probably the highest ranked player to ever play in any of the 19 chess-a-thons. He proved it, too, combining with eighth-grader Cameron Wendell to take the Bughouse title; combining with Janelle Ciomei to win the Partners Competition; winning the A group of Blitz Chess (five minutes per person) over Nick Eaton and winning all his simul matches except for an upset at the hands of Soozin Cha and a Live Chess loss (with other captain Dan DeLuca) to the white team captained by Mark Woida and Isaac Marnik.

For the night, Steve also had the most wins in the adult group, with Isaac Marnik second. In the K-3 group, Andrew Pappianne had the most successes—11—followed by Rylee Eaton. In the K-6, Colby Haskell was the winner with 15 wins, followed closely by Kinsey Bartlett, with 13, in second. In K-8, Cameron Wendell had the upper hand with 35, besting Bethany Humphrey, who finished with 22. Finally, in the K-12 group, Connor Morey won, with Hayden Ciomei close behind: 15-13 again.

Other surprises in the simul: Janelle Ciomei upset Mark Woida (and came back to beat him twice more in the Blitz); Nate Davis beat both Mark Woida and Dan Larrabee, while David McManus topped teammate Sam Grindle.

Finally, while a few chess players nodded off, the two-hour partner chess tournament ended with Janelle Ciomei and Steve Abrahams besting the young guns—Andrew Pappianne, a third grader, and Soozin Cha, a sixth grader—in the championship section, and Kris Melanio and his third-grade partner, Kaylee Morey, taking the consolation tournament, as the enticing odor of frying bacon in the early morning gave the remaining players their second wind.